Target’s Simplicity Challenge

Posted 11.05.13 by admin

Simplicity. It’s the key to the success of almost any consumer product. Healthcare should be no different, yet in this particular realm, touting yourself as “simple” and “user-friendly” is a task much more easily said than done. 75% of health care professionals — you know, the people selling this stuff — don’t even understand their own health care plans! Alarming.

Enter Target’s Simplicity Challenge, a campaign that uses the bright idea of crowd sourcing to find the next healthcare innovation. They simply posed the question – what would you do to simplify healthcare? The general public certainly made their ideas known, with submissions ranging from mobile app ideas and outreach programs, to TV spots and experiential gimmicks to help bring health care to the every-man’s level. Judging will be done by 11 industry experts procured by Target, representing the  best and brightest from organizations like Medtronic, United Health Group, IDEO and Target, of course.
Now that submissions are submitted and judging is in full swing (finalists to be announced on Nov. 18th), we wait with bated breath to see just how this pans out. The program has had both its supporters and naysayers, each speculating the real value Target can attain from this. In my opinion, as a young person new to health care and as a marketer with health care clients, the value potential is huge. While there is merit in doing typical primary research to get similar information, putting this idea in the public eye really changes how a health care shopper views the competition. Now, they see Target as a partner helping them understand their health care plans and not another big company hiding behind confusing pamphlets and complicated jargon to attain your business.
There’s something magical about a company looking to its customers for the winds of change, and such campaigns usually leave the consumer with positive feelings. Now I know that Target cares what think. Target wants to know what I would do to make health care better. Target wants to make my life better by getting advice from me. The trust they are building up is obvious, but it’s yet to be seen if it actually comes to fruition. How they execute (and eventually utilize) the winning idea will be key to this campaign’s success and likely the impetus of change in how other health care providers improve their programs.
To find out more and to vote for your favorite finalist, check out their website.
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